Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Day After Combining

So I decided to wash my hair this morning, my locs were gagging for it! lol. The newly combined ones stayed in place (yay!). The rubberbands of course help a lot, but I can't wait 'till I decide to take all of them out. Come to think of it, the only hurtle I'm going through at the moment with my locs are the ends; I want ALL of them to seal! 85% of them are there, but the rest of them still have some catching up to do. I keep telling myself that these locs are technically still "babies" and are no where near the "maturation" stage. I'm still being patient with them; I can tell that good things will come with consistently being patient with my locs and letting them be (for the most part). On another note, I always keep thinking to myself if I like my hair when it is more "wild" and not twisted. I like the look on me. Does anybody else like their "wild locs" look?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oops I Did It Again...

Not too long ago I said that my combining days are over. Well, today I decided to marry a couple more of my I came from 112 to now 109. I have always been confident about combining and have never regretted or look back. The reason why I combine in the first place is not so much because I'm aiming for a thicker loc, but because I worry that the base is thinning and needs some help. I'd much rather combine a loc and go through the irritating process of having to re-tie them when they unravel after a wash than having to deal with a loc that is thinning at the root. As I've done with many of my locs lately, I double stranded them together and tie the end with a rubber band. With some of the thicker ones, I tie one rubber band halfway at the middle and then another one at the end. I plan on keeping the rubber bands in for a month, maybe longer for some. The most exciting thing about combing locs for me is that it gives me a sense of hope and promise that that one particular loc will prosper and become thicker and stronger. In a way, it is a sigh of relief for me. No more worry about that single loc(s) that are thinning or getting weak. Each day I'm noticing how much more matted and married many of my locs have been since I first combined them way back in November while I was abroad in England. And I must say, it was so worth it. The downsides to combining are that:

1) How they have more potential to unravel or get a bit wonky. It's frustrating at times. One of the locs I combined tonight is starting to stick up. Looks like I will be wearing a hat for the rest of the week (I would have anyway because this weather ain't cutting it... lol).

2) They seem to take FOREVER to marry and lock up. I may be exaggerating though, because for the most part all of my locs have married just fine, with a couple of them that are still trying to. I guess that's part of the journey right?

I think for certain now though that I am done combining....but we'll see!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nice Dreads

I just finished reading "Nice Dreads" by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. Overall I thought it was a very fast and quick read, and fairly enjoyable. I finished it in about an hour. This book is mostly for those who are either thinking about getting dreads or have just started. Being that I've been locked for over a year, and have relied mostly on facebook, fotki, youtube, nappturality,, and countless other sites to learn about starting, maintaining, and cultivating locs, I found this book more as a refresher of everything I already know about dreads. Nonetheless, it still was an enjoyable read! The author talks a lot about her own personal journey and naturally talks about the struggles most people commonly have when having to grip with their natural tresses and the "reality" of it, realizing that our hair just isn't like Caucasian hair types. She delves into ways of taking care of locs, products to use, and the journey as a whole. She also gives a spotlight to a couple of other loc'ed beauties who give a little snippet of their locking journey as well. All in all, I'd highly recommend all loc wearers to read "Nice Dreads."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Music Videos That Make You Proud To Be Natural

Sometimes I wish there were more naturals in music videos. The one music video that has always made me proud to be natural from the start was, of course, Lauryn Hill's Everything Is Everything and even her music videos from when she was with the Fugees (specifically Nappy Head, Fugeela, and Killing Me Softly). I also love Janet Jackson's Got 'Till It's Gone and Together Again music videos, where she seemed to have expressed a more earthy and natural vibe (even though she wasn't natural herself). I wish I can post these music videos on here (any suggestions?), but you can always check them out on youtube if you haven't seen them! So my question of the day is, what music videos have you seen (past and/or present) that has made you feel proud to be natural?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starting Off Locs: So much Variety!

I'm not shy to admit this, but every day i read about dreads, go on youtube, read people's loc blogs, go on fotki, and countless other sites, and I'm still learning something new. I'm starting to gain more insight into just how many ways somebody can start off locs. At the moment I'm admiring the backcombing method. I'm not sure if that method would have worked for me, but I like how it makes your hair look matted and dread-like from the start. Just for fun and curiosity, I backcombed my best friend's hair (he's white) just to see how it is done (sadly, no, he doesn't want to loc his hair lol, maybe one day i will make him), and I liked the outcome. I doubt I would try this method if I were to start over 10 years from now...I just don't think it would look great on me, but I sure do like it on other people! I also wonder if I were to start over, if I would install them myself. It's just a thought. I could see it happening. I'm just daydreaming about "what if..." possibilities (i do that a lot, in general lol). Could any of you imagine alternative ways to start off your locs (ex: comb coils, double strand twists, backcombing, sisterlocs, etc.)? Would you or could you ever install them yourself without the help of a loctitian or a friend? Oh, today is officially me being 14 months locked! Jeez...time flies for real!

I Love Water (And so does my locs)

So it rained a lot today. Got my freshly twisted locs all wet, but I don't care. It didn't unravel at all though, which was nice, instead it got all nice and plump while still keeping that cylindrical shape. My locs love water; I get them wet as often as possible (not dripping wet, but every day I get it misted twice in one day). I'm finding that my hair in general just loves water, the more I nourish it with water inside and out, the healthier and thicker my locs look. I used to be like "no water at all must touch my hair after a retwist must keep it dry or else all that hard work goes down the drain" but nowadays I don't care anymore, it's just water, it's just frizz.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Freshly Re-Twisted

I think this was the fastest and most successful retwisting session I've done. I'm noticing length creeping down my neck...and it's weird! I feel like there's a bug climbing up my neck but it is my hair! lol. My hair is by no means "long" but I'm just starting to get used to the idea that my hair is getting longer and will only get longer with time. I remember back in the day only 2 years ago that my hair was soo short (i will probably post a pic eventually). It's hard to believe that not too long ago I was sporting the "boy cut"...I actually liked looking like a boy, I felt more spunky and stood out more amongst everyone else hehe, and now it is at a length where i can actually feel it creep on the back of my neck. That's another thing I like about maintaining/retwisting my hair, which is why i would probably never freeform, I feel so fresh and new, as if I just gave myself a makeover. As much as I don't mind having my hair wild, I also love how it looks when it is maintained and palmrolled. I'm wondering, how long do some of you go without re-twisting, and do you notice a difference between having it "wild" versus having it freshly retwisted? What do you like more or prefer the most?

Creative Loc Style

One day when my hair is really long I want to style my hair like this. I don't know what it is about this, it looks pretty simple, but it is so sexy! i love it! It looks like all you do is braid your locs together in large bunches and wrap some string around them...and after I'm done sporting it for a day I can unravel them to form a braid out! Awesome. I'm not impatient about length but if there's one thing I'm excited for with my locking journey is to be able to do styles like this and many more!

The Countdown!

I just made a record: it took me exactly an hour and a half to retwist my locs! Wow...maybe this was done quicker because of my selective retwisting? I retwisted most of my locs, I left hm, maybe a good 15 locs as is. Speaking of numbers, I finally counted how many locs I have. I have exactly 112. I was expecting more than that, but I was delightfully surprised that it was less than expected. I was very close to almost combining two of my locs, but I said, nah, my combining days are OVER. I admit, one or two of my locs are a bit scraggly, but I don't really care, at least my locs in general has the thickness that I want, that's all that matters. I'm starting to understand that truthfully no locking journey is 100% perfect, and not every single loc is going to stand on its own, and I'm okay with that. Sometimes I do think, hm, in 10 years I should start over a new set. Who knows, maybe I will. But on the other hand, even if I started all over with thick double strand twists from the start, would it really make a difference? Would the journey be any more or less easier/difficult? I honestly don't think it matters, or would change a bit. I love my locs, and if I ever do start over (which is a huge possibility, but it will be 10 years down the line), I'm not going to assume that it will be "easier" because the twists will be thicker the second time around. Overall, I think this set is going pretty well, and I'm even prouder because I'm maintaining them myself and making my own products to maintain them. I've never been this in love or passionate about my hair ever in my life until now. I know for certain that I'm going to be locked for life, be it with this set or more sets in the future.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm going to re-twist my hair sometime this Sunday; it seems like every time i re twist i seem to form a better relationship with my hair. Like I said, retwisting once every 3 weeks has really brought such progress to my hair...the new growth has finally locked, at least for most of my locs. There are some that still haven't locked yet, but are getting there. I've decided that this time when I retwist, I'm going to leave some of the locs alone. If some of them are still twisted (meaing that they didn't once unravel since the last time i retwisted), I'm going to let them be. If there isn't enough new growth there, then I'm going to leave those alone too. The ones that have a thick bunch of new growth, I will twist. I want to keep the integrity of my hair; I really love the thickness that my locs have, so I want to keep them that way by not overly twisting or manipulating them. I'm still going to retwist every 3 weeks, but be more selective of which locs in particular I'm going to retwist. Does anybody else do this? :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring is Almost Here!

I'm loving this weather. It is hot and sunny, two things that I love, and that my hair loves. I worked out a lot during the winter, which I like, but I like it better now that I don't have to be stuck in a gym and can work out outdoors instead. I randomly took pictures of my locs in the sunlight, and I'm noticing just how thick they are. The only thing I've ever had a "problem" with my locs was the size. The picture at the bottom is how they started off: really small and thin. Don't ask how many I had then and how many I have now, because honestly i'm just too lazy to count, but I may at least try when I retwist my hair again this week. After combining nearly all of them, this is where they are now. I really like it. At first i wasn't sure, but I just like how thicker locs look on me, and personally I just like thick locs on others as well (not that I don't like smaller locs on people, but something about seeing girls and guys with thick locs makes me admire them). I've also found that combining them has made my locs stronger at the base, no more issues or worries about thinning or breakage. I'm glad that I combined my locs overall; they really are healthier and thicker and beautiful, at least to me. I'm just looking forward to how they will look with time (they still look like double strand twists, esp. at the front...but I'm over it lol). Some are loosing that twisty pattern, which is nice to for the ones that still do have that pattern, oh well, it makes me even more excited to see how those particular locs are going to look with time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Essential Oils

So I finally got my rosemary essential oil in the mail. I put 10 drops of it in my bottle of olive oil and 4 drops in my water, glycerin, and olive oil spritz. I love this stuff! And what I love more is how inexpensive this brand is. I ordered mine from Plant Life via Amazon. Not only are their essential oils so reasonable (I bought mine for exactly $6.50) but you get a lot of bang for your buck! It came exactly on time as it said, and they give you a free Aromatherpy Herbal Soap and Lemongrass Essential Oil Shampoo with your package, no extra charge! Before I even opened the package I could smell the was POW! but in a good way! When I spritz my hair with the essential oil, I just felt so refreshed, and I could smell it strongly in the olive oil too. I'm glad that i'm finally trying essential oils. They smell so lovely, and I'm glad that I found a company that doesn't charge so much money for them. Plus, they are meant to last for a long time. If i were to get more from this company, I would try Tea Tree, Lavender, and Peppermint; if I like those three as well I might as well buy their 6-pack deal that it is only $20! Love it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Loc

I mentioned on my Fotki a couple of weeks ago that I found a bunch of new growth that just WON'T wrap around an adjoining loc, so I decided to just seperate it and let it form into its own loc. This is how it is looking so far. In the first picture this baby loc is the skinny one near my ear, on the second it is the first loc of the three, not sure if you can tell it is a baby loc trying to form, but I love this little guy. I'm sure i will forget it is there since it is so miniscule, but I'm looking forward to seeing this one loc on its own. I have about three locs that have formed solely from a bunch of new growth that wouldn't co-operate with me wrapping them around an adjoining loc. I love em'. At some point I will take a picture of the other two, but for now this is the one I'm keeping my eye on the most.

Almost at the 14 month mark!

Woah...time flies. I'm almost at the 14 month mark, not much has changed really although I have been noticing that my hair is starting to condense more. Re-twisting once every 3 weeks instead of once every 2 months has really helped; the new growth is locking faster, and the parts are a bit neater. Maintaining it has been less of an annoyance; I no longer feel like I have an afro on my head with a bunch of locs hanging from it (that's the main reason why i don't want to freeform, it's just going to look like i have one giant afro on my head with locs hanging from it. Sorry, I just don't like that look!). I'm not big on neatness, but it is nice to see that the ones at the front are locking too. Also, I haven't been touching my hair that much! I think i'm slowly getting over the hand-in-loc disease, although I can't help it at times, I'm just in awe at how my locs are finally making moves! In some ways I feel like now I'm a bit more patient with my hair, and I'm starting to appreciate my locs more. They are getting thicker and fuller, and now more manageable and neater in appearance. I think I mentioned before that once they are shoulder length I will get back to re-twisting once every 2 months, but who knows....I really like this routine I have going.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Loc Venting #2

I read somebody else's blog today (i forget her name); she was writing about how on youtube/blogs/other loc forums that the majority of people, if not most, has "super-manicured" locs, meaning no frizz, no fuzz, scalp showing, and constantly keeping it maintained in a weekly basis. It made me think, yeah, that is true. More and more people are sporting super-manicured locs; it is very rare that you find a free-forming black female wearing thick locs, it is usually always manicured to perfection. Is there anything wrong with that? No, I don't think so, but it is an interesting observation. The only thing that bothers me about it is that it seems like there isn't enough variety in the loc universe (at least in the cyber world). I love thick locs, chunky locs, freeform, manicured, super-manicured, semi-free form, etc, I love learning from loc rockers regardless of what method they chose to loc or what size their locs are. After all, locs are locs regardless of their size or shape. It's just a shame that 1) all you see is just about the same kind of locs, mostly manicured, while the freeformers/people with thick locs are kind of ignored or hiding or something, therefore we can't learn from their experience because there just aren't enough of them wanting to talk about their journey on youtube/blogs/whatever and 2) that whenever you do find somebody who is growing thick locs and not manicuring it, they have a sort of high and mighty attitude where they look down at those who retwist their hair on a 2-3 week basis and act like people who manicure their locs are not "understanding" the journey or "getting it" when it comes to locs. I just don't understand the attitude. I think bottom line it just depends on one's perspective on what locs mean to them and how they should look. Not all of us can handle freeforming. I don't think I could. I used to retwist my hair every 2 months, which I loved. Why did I start retwisting every 3 weeks instead? Mostly because I felt like my hair needed to be "trained" more and because I got frustrated with the new growth constantly unraveling and not locking, so that's why I decided to retwist more often, but my hair isn't the least bit "manicured." I don't retwist it as often because of neatness; in fact, I care less about how "neat" my hair looks. I prefer roots to be showing and to be a bit more on the wild side, but I also enjoy the luxury and joy of retwisting my hair and making my locs feel more fresh. When my hair gets past my shoulders, I'm going to get back to retwisting once every 2 months, but while they are young, I want to train them. Not all of us see locking as a spiritual journey or an extension of one's self. I embrace my nappy roots and love the fact that not all my locs are perfectly cylindrical or same shape and size, but I don't see my hair as a spiritual journey at all. Some of us may like to keep it really neat because of our jobs, or maybe not, maybe some of us just enjoy having really neat locs. I think everybody's preferences are different; neither is wrong. I guess in a way i feel like there seems to be some kind of divide amongst loc-wearers; it is manicured locs vs. freeformers, traditional locs vs. sisterlocs, happy and nappy vs. super neat and fly, etc. I think all locs are beautiful! I wish all of us can embrace the many sides to locs, the skinny ones, the braid locs, the thick locs, and so on, instead of acting like one technique/method is better than the other, and also stop judging others based on what they want to do with their locs and how they maintain it. Let's just keep on learning and stop juding or being prejudice, locs = peace and love! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Tam

I just finished crocheting my first tam hat, and I'm thrilled! After a couple of tries at crocheting this hat, I finally made a hat that not only looks nice but it fits around my head. It was so easy to make, surprisingly, it took me at least a day or two, probably could be made even quicker if I spent an entire day doing it. I crocheted a red one because I love red, people say it is my color. I can't wait to make more of these, this time in more colorful patterns. Yay for new hobbies, esp. when it is hair related!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rubber Bands

So lately I've been tying black snag-free rubber bands around the ends of some of my locs that just keep on unraveling again and again and again (basically the combined ones). A part of me wishes I could have done this sooner. I know that using rubberbands for some people is "tabboo" because it could damage your hair, but my theory is, as with anything you use or put in your hair, is knowing how to do it properly and in moderation. The rubber bands aren't tied too tight, they are on tight enough to stay but loose enough to fall off or pop off on their own. I'm thinking of keeping them in for at least 2 months, or until they just fall off and I notice that the particular loc(s) isn't unraveling anymore. I know some people prefer to use a bead or a string to help with combining locs to dread faster, but honestly, I just want to use something quick and simple. Although a bead would be prettier, it would be a pain in the ass to put them on, and I don't have the patience to sew my locs together. So far it is working for me. Some have popped off, and my loc looks just fine. By summer I hope to not have them in anymore just because I'd worry about them melting or something lol. Until then, I'm gonna keep these little guys in for 2 months. Can't wait, because i'm tired of worrying about some of these combined locs from unraveling (i haven't counted precisely, but overall i have at least 10 locs that have been tied by a rubber band). Has anybody else ever used this technique to help with the pesky locs that need some extra help?

Monday, March 8, 2010


This isn't talked about often in the locing community, but I find that taking vitamins has really helped my hair to become really healthy. Other than Centrium, I've been taking Biotin. I've been here a lot of good things about it. Many swear that it makes their hair and nails grow. So far, it has definitely made my nails grow like crazy. I can't stand having long nails (it makes me nervous), so I've been trimming them a lot lately. I've been taking Biotin for about 2 months or so, and so far I'm liking it. I'm not sure if it is really doing a whole lot for the hair on my head, but I know that it takes awhile for it to really kick into your system. I haven't dealt with any side effects of it, which mainly are little things like headaches and/or acne. I've been drinking a lot of water and using witch hazel for my skin, which I'm sure is combating this side effect from happening. The only thing I've been noticing from taking biotin so far is that my hair has felt a bit thicker (the new growth I mean) so i guess it is doing something. If I see any changes, I will definitely update on here. Overall I think it is good to take some vitamins and minerals, not just for your hair, but for your overall health. The next thing I want to try for my hair is Essential Oils, I just really want some extra oomph in my hair care regime, plus I want to make my hair smell a bit prettier esp. since spring time is coming around hehe. I just ordered some rosemary essential oil from Amazon; I should get it sometime this week. I can't wait to try it!

My First Pony!

Yay, I can finally wear a pony tail! That's basically the only style I can do at the moment, other than loc puffs lol. One thing I love about locking with short hair is that it is really exciting to see the changes it goes through. The longer, the more styles you can do. Not that i'm rushing for longer hair, I'm just embracing the length as is. I always hear from people who have really long locs say that they "miss" the short stage and that they wished that they embraced it more, because once locs are longer they take a bit more work to maintain and style. So, until then, I'm embracing the stages, and this is one of them: finally being able to do SOMETHING with my hair other than letting it hang haha.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Loc Venting #1

Okay so once in awhile I want to vent on the whole locking process. So now I'm 13 months locked. I'm at times obsessed with watching the loc journeys of others on youtube and looking at the profiles of people on fotki, at times comparing their progress at 13 months versus mine, just to see if I'm "on track." I've come to the realization that everybody's locking journey differs. Sometimes I wonder if the way you started your locs can be a factor. For instance, I started my locs with double strand twists. Although my locs are for the most part, well, locked, I'm dealing with only one or two key issues from starting my locs with this method:

1) The twisty-pattern. I can't wait 'till the twisted pattern disappears. A lot of my locs don't have the twisting pattern, mostly the ones in the back look like locs, while the majority of my locs at the front and on the side still look like 2-strand twists. I find it frustrating because since the majority of my locs were combined, it looks even more twisted and a couple of them still unravel (but not as much, i'm being patient!) or have those curly cues, which I don't mind so much, but I can't wait 'till all my locs are 100% sealed so I can be more comfortable styling them without feeling self-conscious or worried about the combined locs unraveling or getting wonky or looking so funky and crazy looking (some are still actin' like teenagers!). I'm assuming it will take awhile for the twisty pattern to disappear completely, but at times it does frustrate me that they are still there, especially the front ones which are more apparent.

2)The size. Now, honestly, when I told my loctitian that I wanted to have locs, I really didn't have any pre-concieved idea of how small, big, or large I wanted my locs to be. My loctitian decided to make them really, really tiny, almost in box-braids. At first I didn't mind, but then I realized that they were just so tiny and small in size that very quickly I realized that in time the roots will get very weak ( I remember at around month 3 or 4 I believe I was already worrying that many of them were getting weak). So I combined basically ALL of my locs, with only 2 on my head that are the original size that they started with. I love the thickness now. My only regret in my locking journey is that I wish I could have started my locs MUCH bigger so I wouldn't have had to deal with issues of loc-size. Naturally, I'm not turning back, but I'm thinking that if in 10 years I get tired of this set of locs, I will start over. I will still use the 2-strand twist method because I feel that is the easiest way for my hair to loc, but be sure that they are as thick as a pencil if not a little bigger than that. I love thick locs. I'm not a fan of super skinny locs (on me anyway). I love the thickness of my locs now, I just wish that I didn't have to combine all of them to get to this.

Bottom Line: I love my locs because they are naturally me. They are going through its stages right now, but they are blossoming. I felt that February was its shining moment when FINALLY my combined locs stayed married and the new growth at the roots locked, for real (and without unraveling in the shower!). I can't wait to see what each month brings. I can't wait for my locs to be even thicker and fuller and more settled and straight instead of sticking up and looking silly at times. I'm not so much big on length, but that will be nice too, for now I like the length as is. Ok, i'm done with my venting now, if you have read this far, thank you much peace and love! :)

Tam Hats!

It's funny, I'm really not much of a hat person, but I find that tam hats are just SO comfortable, stylish, and fun! I like how it fits snuggly around my head instead of all tight and constricting the blood flow to my brain lol. I'm also noticing that it is kind of popular around this time of year, though it is commonly worn by "rastas" it doesn't seem to matter if you have dreads or not, the tam/berret/whatever you want to call it looks good on just about anybody. Anyways, I bought my first tam at Hot Topic (of all places) which cost $6 (it was originally $14, so it was a pretty good deal!). I admit, i'm not a fan of the color of this hat, but being that it was cheap, I had to get it. It feels so comfortable, it gives my hair that rest and protection from the chilly wind, snow, and of course those pesky lint balls, and most of all, I can wear it all day, any time of year, and it's just sweet and breezy. I'm also planning to make my own tam hats thanks to Pinky2D4 (one of my favorite loc'ed youtube personalities). Figure I might get back to crocheting again, I used to be so good at it years ago as a kid and then stopped, but I can't wait to hone my skills again by attempting to make this hat! I can't wait! Here's the tutorial I'm going to follow: